Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Rome: 2,762 Year Anniversary


"Where can we begin the story of the universe that is Rome?...the story, the myth of Rome's origins, seems to contain a basic trait still recognizable after all of the city's adventures and misadventures; put simply, its destiny."

Corrado Augias, Secrets of Rome (2007)

April 21 Rom
e celebrated its 2,762 anniversary of its founding today. Not a bad run.

Who founded Rome? is a matter of some controversy. "Destiny," as Augias noted above, played a critical role.
It was in the time of Caesar Augustus, when the Roman poet Virgil wrote The Aeneid, the great epic of the Roman people, with the aim of elevating Caesar Augustus [nephew of the assassinated Julius Caesar] to being a descendant of both the gods and the founders of Rome. He did this by linking the Trojan hero Aeneas, son of Venus, with the founding of Rome. The Aeneid is the story of goddess-born Aeneas, who flees the burning Troy to embark upon a perilous journey that brings him to Italy to fulfill his grand destiny as founder of what will one day become the Roman Empire.

Virgil immediately sets forth in The Aeneid the heroic theme of "whence came the Latin race... and the lofty walls of Rome"-

"Of arms and a man I sing, who first from the coast of Troy, exiled by fate, came to Italy and Lavine shores; much buffeted on sea and land by violence from above, through cruel Juno's unforgiving wrath, and much enduring in war also, till he should build a city and bring his gods to Latium; whence came the Latin race, the lords of Alba, and the lofty walls of Rome."
(Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1.)

But what of Romulus and Remus?

Romulus and Remus appear in Roman mythology as the twin sons of the priestess Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars.

Aeneas a son of Venus; Romulus and Remus, sons of Mars.

The Ancient Romans were quite a combination: of love and war.

Legend states that after their birth, Romulus and Remus were put in a cradle and laid on the banks of the Tiber river in order to escape being murdered. The river gently carried the cradle and the twins downstream. The boys were rescued by the river god Tiberinus who placed the twins upon the Palatine Hill. There, they were nursed by a she-wolf underneath a fig-tree and were fed by a woodpecker until a shepherd found them and took them into his home. Ancient Roman historians Plutarch and Livy state that Romulus served as the first King of Rome.

For more about the founding of Rome check out WebVisionItaly's April Italy Right Now show.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

UEFA Rome Champions League Final 2009 - Rome

Rome will host the UEFA Champions League final May 27, which soccer fans and fanatics from all over the world will tune in to, making this the most popular annual sporting event in the world. The entire soccer world will watch Rome’s Olympic Stadium (Stadio Olimpico), which is the home of A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio, on 27 May 2009 for the UEFA Champions League tournament final event.

Rome's Olympic Stadium was built in 1936 and has a capacity of 82,307. It was the site of the 1960 Summer Olympics, but has also served as the location of the 1987 World Athletics Championships and the 1990 FIFA World Cup

UEFA Champions League has captured the hearts and the imaginations of soccer fans across the globe. The tournament awards the most prestigious trophy in all of European football and is the ultimate goal for any major football club within the continent. The actual event is comprised of a number of stages including knockout and qualifying rounds. The championship has been awarded to 21 different clubs in its history and Real Madrid has proven to be the most successful club, winning the tournament an unprecedented 9 times.

Altogether there are 76 teams that will or have been involved in the 2008-2009 UEFA Champions League in Rome, Italy.

The UEFA standings, as of April 17, 2009 6 weeks from the final:

Group APldPts
CFR Cluj64
Group CPldPts
Group EPldPts
Man. United610
Group GPldPts
Dynamo Kyiv68
Group BPldPts
Group DPldPts
Group FPldPts
Group HPldPts
Real Madrid612

UEFA Semi-Finals First Leg April 28 & April 29

UEFA Semi-Finals Second May 5 & May 6


Man. United-Arsenal

For more on Italy travel and life in Italy today visit

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Rome Walking Map: Obelisks of Rome-Rome Walking Tour Map

Rome Walking Map: Obelisks of Rome.

As we wander Rome it is fun to imagine from where the obelisks in Rome come and how old are the many obelisks that decorate Rome. When walking Rome's ancient streets you are sure to stroll by an obelisk in Rome that dates back to even before Christ, to around 30 B.C. when Augustus brought the obelisks to Rome from Egypt. Many of the Rome obelisks are from Egypt's Ramesses II era. The obelisks were brought to Rome initially by Augustus to continue Rome's connection to the Sun Gods.
On the Rome walking map below the 8 red dots are ancient Egyptian obelisks brought to Rome and the 5 blue dots are ancient Roman obelisks.
Download and enjoy Rome Obelisk walking tour guide maps and more WebVisionItaly walking tour maps of Rome.

View Rome Walking Map: Obelisk in Rome in a larger map

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Rome Easter: Good Friday & Easter Celebrations in Rome

Easter is a beautiful time to travel to Rome. With the Spanish Steps ablaze in pinks, whites and red spring flowers in full bloom that look like the azalias and rhodadendrums on the fairways of the Master's Tournament. Rome Good Friday tradition Via Cruces, the reenactment of Christ carrying the cross, happens every year in Rome. The Easter Holy Week in Rome culminates with Easter Mass by the Pope from St. Peter's Square, The Vatican inside Rome.

Click for Italy video Rome Easter.

For more video of Italy at Easter time and Rome Easter click

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Things to Do in Rome: Musuems and Exhibits Spring 2009

Spring in Rome is popping with flowers blooming, Easter next weekend, and temperatures in the high sixties travelers to Italy are descending on Rome. There are plenty of excellent exhibits to keep Spring-visitors to Rome entertained. Below is a list of a few happenings:

- Colosseum: 'Divus Vespasanius', celebration of Emperor Vespasian, general who took throne from Nero in 69 AD and transformed Rome, founding Flavian dynasty which built Colosseum; until January 10.

- Vittoriano: Giotto and the Trecento; 150 works from world's museums including 20 by pre-Renaissance master himself; until June 29.

- same venue: The Sabines, over 120 never-before-seen works from terracotta throne of King of Eretum, paintings and illuminated codices, up to film posters and clips of legendary 'Rape of the Sabine Women' that helped fledgling Rome survive; until April 26.

- Scuderie del Quirinale: Futurist works from 30 museums including reconstruction of the famous Futurist exhibition held at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris in 1912; also, four works returning from New York for first time including Boccioni's 'Stati d'animo' triptych; until May 24.

- Palazzo delle Esposizioni: Darwin 1809-2009, Italy's biggest-ever show on evolution; until May 3.

- Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna: Cy Twombly, first retrospective in Italy; 70-work show previously seen at Tate and Guggenheim Bilbao; until May 24.

- Chiostro del Bramante: The Myth of Julius Caesar, first ever show focusing on him alone; 200 items from ancient times until the 20th century; until April 5.

- Museo Fondazione Roma: Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), lyrical Japanese landscape artist who influenced Van Gogh and Monet; 200 woodblock prints on show for first time in Italy; until June 7.

- Museo Carlo Bilotti: 100 Giorgio de Chirico metaphysical drawings; until April 19.

For more about the arts in Italy and arts by Italian-Americans visit's Arts Channel.

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